Bits, Bytes, and Transfer Rates

8 Bits = 1 Byte
1024 Bytes = 1 Kilobyte
1024 Kilobytes = 1 Megabyte
1024 Megabytes = 1 Gigabyte
1024 Gigabytes = 1 Terabyte
1024 Terabytes = 1 Petabyte
1024 Petabytes = 1 Exabyte
1024 Exabytes = 1 Zettabyte
1024 Zettabytes = 1 Yottabyte


1 yottabyte
1024 zettabytes
1,048,576 exabytes
1,073,741,824 petabytes
1,099,511,627,776 terabytes
1,125,899,906,842,624 gigabytes
1,152,921,504,606,846,976 megabytes
1,180,591,620,717,411,303,424 kilobytes
1,208,925,819,614,629,174,706,176 bytes
9,671,406,556,917,033,397,649,408 bits

  Transfer rates are generally shown in either Kbps or KBps and Mbps or MBps. The difference is Kilobit/Megabit vs. KiloByte/MegaByte. Getting Mbps and MBps confused can make your data transfers seem much slower or much faster than they really are.

56 Kbps = 7 KBps - Average Dial-up Modem Speed
- It would take approximately 7314 seconds to transfer 50 Megabytes *

768 Kbps = 96 KBps - Common DSL Speed
- It would take approximately 533 seconds to transfer 50 Megabytes *

10 Mbps = 1.25 MBps - Standard Ethernet Speed
- It would take approximately 41 seconds to transfer 50 Megabytes *

100 Mbps = 12.5 MBps - Fast Ethernet Speed
- It would take approximately 4.1 seconds to transfer 50 Megabytes *

1 Gbps = 125 MBps - Gigabit Ethernet Speed
- It would take approximately .41 seconds to transfer 50 Megabytes *

* Assumes maximum transfer rate during entire transfer. (Which never really happens...)


For a little added frame of reference, round 1 Gigabyte down to an even 1 billion bytes. Now think of seconds in place of bytes... 1 billion seconds = 31.69 years. (Want to use minutes instead of seconds? - 1 billion minutes = 1901.29 years.)

Curious about a Yottabyte’s worth of seconds? Well, it works out to be 324,486,019,215,656.45 Centuries. (Yes, centuries.) That’s 324+ Trillion centuries.



Copyright © 2003 Ronald Williams